Monday, April 30, 2007

From Machen.

"Emancipation from the blessed will of God
always involves bondage to some worse taskmaster."
Various and Sundry and Rambling Mayberry Musings

1. I was stupid; I was. To think I could play three
softball games at the tournament Saturday and
then go on to continue normal living afterward.
That up and down catcher stuff is a killer on
the thighs muscles.

2. I am grateful; I am. The $1500 plus we raised for
the concrete project we will be working on in Mexico
this summer was worth the sore thighs, almost.

3. Life is delicious; it is. Lying in bed with the open
window at our head which allows the sweet and cool night
air to waft in and listening to the night noises noising
is a gift of surpassing value.

4. Life is double delicious;it is, it is. Rising in the
morning to curl into my little secret spot and listen
to the waking birds while the cool air flows through
the window and God speaks to me from His Word is a
richness undeserved.

5. I lied; I did. I haven't given any Mayberry Musings
in this post. There are some, but they don't fit the
mood somehow, so let's just see how well they keep in
the old grey matter for a later post.

Sunday, April 29, 2007


Little Boy kneels at the foot of the bed,
Droops on the little hands little gold head.
Hush! Hush! Whisper who dares!
Christopher Robin is saying his prayers.

God bless Mummy. I know that's right.
Wasn't it fun in the bath to-night?
The cold's so cold, and the hot's so hot.
Oh! God bless Daddy - I quite forgot.

If I open my fingers a little bit more,
I can see Nanny's dressing-gown on the door.
It's a beautiful blue, but it hasn't a hood.
Oh! God bless Nanny and make her good.

Mine has a hood, and I lie in bed,
And pull the hood right over my head,
And I shut my eyes, and I curl up small,
And nobody knows that I'm there at all.

Oh! Thank you, God, for a lovely day.
And what was the other I had to say?
I said "Bless Daddy," so what can it be?
Oh! Now I remember it. God bless Me.

Little Boy kneels at the foot of the bed,
Droops on the little hands little gold head.
Hush! Hush! Whisper who dares!
Christopher Robin is saying his prayers.

Friday, April 27, 2007

I have enjoyed all the blog-posted poetry this
month. When the children were younger I enjoyed
making up little ditties to sing in the car or
as we worked and played. One of them has stuck
with us and Hattie will still say it at times.

Bathtime Poem

My little hands get wrinkled,
Whenever I take a bath.
My little feet get wrinkled too;
It makes me want to laugh.

My name is (say child's full name),
And I am asking you-
Do your hands and feet
Ever get wrinkled too?

Thursday, April 26, 2007

The last two morning devotions have left me with
a lot to chew on. Just in case you are needing
a cud or two I offer the following...

From Christianity & Liberalism by J. Gresham Machen:
(Machen is speaking of the plethora of dieties that
were being honored in the Hellenistic society that
Paul was confronting)

"Without its exclusiveness, the Christian message
would have seemed perfectly inoffensive to the
men of that day. So modern liberalism, placing
Jesus alongside other benefactors of mankind, is
perfectly inoffensive in the modern world. All
men speak well of it. It is entirely inoffensive.
But it is also entirely futile. The offense of
the cross is done away, but so is the glory
and the power

From The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan
Prayers & Devotions...

"Grant that I may be salted with suffering,
with every exactment tempered to my soul,
every rod excellently fitted to my back,
to chastise, humble, break me."

And finally from Proverbs chapter 11, various verses...

"A talebearer reveals secrets,
But he who is of a faithful spirit conceals a matter...

A gracious woman retains honor,...

As a ring of gold in a swine's snout,
So is a lovely woman who lacks discretion."
There is balm in Gilead.
The frost that did this to my trees...

Spared me my Peonies.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Our whirlwind trip to Jacksonville, Florida is come
and gone. It was a lovely trip. Carolyn and Daryl
were duly married and are now in Argentina on their
honeymoon. Hattie was flower girl and here are a
few pictures of the wedding. My camera was on the
bum and only worked from time to time so the shots
are limited.

Les Miserables is both one of my favorite movies and
one of my favorite books. In the movie Jean Valjean
says to Cosette, as he is about to be taken away by
the French police and she is crying in despair, (I
paraphrase only because I cannot promise I have it
totally word for word), "It is right. I stole something;
I did. I stole happiness with you."

We stole some time on the beach. It was lovely. Windy
and cool, but lovely.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

It is fun to be miserable. We all work rather
hard at it. If you aren't doing such a good
job lately, here is a post that will help.

Tip of the bonnet to Suitable For Mixed Company.

Okay, now I promise, I'm outta here.
We're off to a family wedding. If I can find
a stray computer or two I'll try to post, but
if not I'll leave you to contemplate the

Tuesday night both Kent and I were out and
about fulfilling our civic duty. I was at a
meeting for the SB40 board, a/k/a Productive
Living Board, which is one of the boards for
the local Sheltered Workshop. My older sister
works at the Sheltered Workshop and it is
a very natural place for me (and both my
parents) to volunteer.

But, Kent, now he went beyond the call of natural
duty. He was asked to be a rider in a donkey
basketball game that was a fund raiser for the
high school jazz band. How could he say, "NO"?
He was on a team with other community members...
pastors, the local judge, elected officials.

I missed the event, but here are some pictures
I thought you would enjoy.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

April is Poetry Month, and, while I haven't done
anything so ambitious as post a poem a day or
even a poem a week, here is my offering in the
wee hours of a beautiful spring morning.

Spring Morning
A A Milne

Where am I going? I don't quite know.
Down to the stream where the king-cups grow -
Up on the hill where the pine trees blow -
Anywhere, anywhere. I don't know.

Where am I going? The clouds sail by,
Little ones, baby ones, over the sky.
Where am I going? The shadows pass,
Little ones, baby ones, over the grass.

If you were a cloud, and sailed up there,
You'd sail on water as blue as air,
And you'd see me here in the fields and say:
"Doesn't the sky look green today?"

"Where am I going?" the high rooks call:
"It's awful fun to be born at all."
"Where am I going?" the ring-doves coo:
"We do have beautiful things to do."

If you were a bird, and lived on high,
You'd lean on the wind when the wind came by,
You'd say to the wind when it took you away:
"That's where I wanted to go today!"

Where am I going? I don't quite know.
What does it matter where people go?
Down to the wood where the blue-bells grow -
Anywhere, anywhere. I don't know.

The A.A. Milne books I own have been mine since
I was a child. The one I got the above poem
from, When We Were Very Young,is a 1961 edition.

Milne and Pooh Bear have always been held close
in the corner of my heart that I reserve for dear
friends. I never can read the last chapter of The
House at Pooh Corner without crying. I always
hand it off to one of the kids to finish.

And now I'll end this with one funny story about
the effect the Pooh stories have had on our family.
When Tyler was little, 6 or so, he and I were talking
about the trip he would get to take with his Dad when
he was 10. We had just finished reading the Winnie
the Pooh books and Tyler said, "Well, when we go on
our trip, it's gonna take us a long time to get to the
North Pole!"
Blest with Sons has this post on men being

In light of the happenings in Virginia this week,
may God bless us with many sheepdogs.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

This is not the post I was working on, but some late-
breaking news just occurred on the farm.

It is Turkey season and Ty has been out in the Turkey
woods. This morning as I was working on another
post there came a long banging on the door. When we ran
to open it, here is what we found.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Yesterday we stole an hour from our Sunday afternoon
and sauntered down the gravel to visit G'ma Opal.
She's not feeling very well; her right shoulder is
in a lot of pain right now, and she looked tiny
and fragile sitting in her chair, but we had a lovely

My aunt Jenny was there also and they were reconstructing
Doniphan for us as it looked 50-80 years ago when, in
G'ma's words, it was more countrified. She began with
a story of a carnival where there was a man who could
stretch out his neck till it looked like it was over
a foot long. Then she told of a carnival in a neighboring
town that had a merry-go-round that was turned by having
a mule pull it around. The rides cost a dime and my
grandfather took her there (before they were married)
and they rode until he had spent the entire dollar he
had brought with him.

There was a store that her dad would go to buy groceries
and you could get all the crackers and cheese you wanted
to eat, on the spot, for a nickel. "Just feature that,"
she said. What a lovely old fashioned turning of a phrase.

It was a lovely, restful hour that we spent there. Such
times and conversations keep us anchored to our little
corner of the world and allow us to keep sane amidst all
the crazy scheduling we try to keep to.

Friday, April 13, 2007

I have been remiss in my postings about J. Gresham
Machen's book Christianity & Liberalism. There is
so much meat in it that I hardly know where to

Machen is, of course, delineating the places where
Christianity and Liberalism differ. His book is
both a text book (he makes his points clearly and
in order) and a devotional (he leads the reader to
consider the scriptures and the Savior on every

The foundation of the book is that, "Christian
doctrine lies at the very roots of faith."(p.44)
The other foundational truth he expresses is "...
we do not mean that if doctrine is sound it makes
no difference about life. On the contrary, it
makes all the difference in the world." (p. 47)

I John 5:20-21 confirms this for us.
And we know that the Son of God has come and
has given us an understanding, that we may know
Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true,
in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God
and eternal life. Little children, keep
yourselves from idols. Amen.

So first-we must know and be in Him who is true.
(sound doctrine)
Second-we must keep ourselves from idols; we
must keep Him who is true first and foremost;
we must turn from every distraction the world
offers and face God.(it makes a difference in
our life)

Here is a wonderful quote in which Machen is
defending the wealth offered in orthodoxy and
in the history of the church through the ages.

After listening to modern tirades against
the great creeds of the Church, one receives
rather a shock when one turns to the
Westminster Confession, for example, or to
that tenderest and most theological of
books, the "Pilgrim's Prgress" of John
Bunyan, and discovers that in doing so one
has turned from shallow modern phrases to
a "dead orthodoxy" that is pulsating with
life in every word. In such orthodoxy
there is life enough to set the whole
world aglow with Christian love. (p. 46)

Thursday, April 12, 2007

I just finished reading Persuasion by Jane Austin
for the manyeth time. I was out of sorts from
reading (sometimes just skimming) too many random
books from the library shelves. I needed a dose of
elegant minds and sane conversations.

I also am in the midst of a three day headache and
so between those two happenings (Persuasion and the
headache) imagine my delight when yesterday I found
this at Buried Treasure Books (along with some verses
about Jane Austin by authors Chesterton and Kipling).

When Stretch’d on One’s Bed
by Jane Austen

When stretch’d on one’s bed
With a fierce-throbbing head,
Which precludes alike thought or repose,
How little one cares
For the grandest affairs
That may busy the world as it goes!

How little one feels
For the waltzes and reels
Of our Dance-loving friends at a Ball!
How slight one’s concern
To conjecture or learn
What their flounces or hearts may befall.

How little one minds
If a company dines
On the best that the Season affords!
How short is one’s muse
O’er the Sauces and Stews,
Or the Guests, be they Beggars or Lords.

How little the Bells,
Ring they Peels, toll they Knells,
Can attract our attention or Ears!
The Bride may be married,
The Corse may be carried
And touch nor our hopes nor our fears.

Our own bodily pains
Ev’ry faculty chains;
We can feel on no subject besides.
Tis in health and in ease
We the power must seize
For our friends and our souls to provide.
From the Correspondence Page of the Mayberry Times:
Lots of people are sick, some have been
in the hospital, some are better and some
are not. Hope all are better and able
to be out and about.

Now this bit from the same page is funny:
I felt like my body was getting totally
out of shape, so I got my doctor's
permission to join a health club. My
first step on the road to fitness was
aerobics class for seniors. I bent,
twisted, gyrated, jumped up and down
and perspired profusely for an hour.
By the time I got my leotards on, the
class was over!

Did anybody in Mayberryland notice the notices
on the Religion Page? Let me just list some of
Amity Cemetery Homecoming, Work Day april 14
Wilson Cemetery Work Day April 14
Bennett Cemetery Cleaning April 14
Poynor Cemetery Cleaning April 21
Dalton Cemetery Clean Up Day Planned April 21
Union Cemetery WorK Day April 28
Shirley Cemetery Meeting May 12

(I have to wonder, who is coming home for the
homecoming at Amity?)

And finally this bit of disturbing writing from
the Correspondence Page:
"Food for thought" Many blessings are for
those that believe.

Believe what? That you can pray to a tree and find
peace? That the power is within you and you only
have to tap into it? That love and peace are the
answers to the world's problems? That the Hokey-
Pokey is what it is all about? Or, that there is
a God Who Is There and that He has acted throughout
history to bring the world and us to this moment
in time and that He has revealed that action through
the Scriptures?

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Kent is performing several weddings this spring and
early summer. At one of them he is going to be
wearing a tux. He has never had to do this as the
minister in the wedding.

My niece's wedding is next weekend, in Florida, and
we've been emailing back and forth on the details
for a few weeks now. Here's a sampling of those

To Carolyn:
Thanks for not making Kent wear a Tux as he has to
do at a wedding in June. He hasn't had to wear one
since we got married!

Lots of lovins,

From Carolyn:
He does have to wear a tux--a white one with a gold
cummerbund (and gold shoe

To Carolyn:
Oooh. He'll love it. And he'll look great

To Carolyn:
Kent says he doesn't look good in gold shoes, will
silver work instead?

From Carolyn:

my wedding will be ruined if Kent doesn't wear gold
shoes. I am not joking. Sure, the wedding colors are
red, white and black, but gold will just add that extra

(ASIDE-Of course I knew Carolyn was just being silly, but
I was on the phone with my sister Becky and she said,
"Are you sure she's not serious. This is a formal
wedding after all." That introduced just that little
tich of doubt that began to nag at me. So I decided to
put Carolyn to the test.)

To Carolyn:
And just where is he supposed to find these shoes?

From Carolyn:


(ASIDE-Now I knew she was kidding and I put it all in the
"We've been having fun file.") Then the next email came.

From Carolyn:
i know you know i'm kidding, but the paranoid part of my
brain wants to make sure

To Carolyn:
I knew you were kidding, then I talked to Becky about 30
minutes ago and she said, "Well Laurie, you know the wedding
is formal, maybe Carrie is serious." I did not think that
could be, but the paranoid part of my brain, the one that
is genetically related to the paranoid part of your brain,
said, "Laurie, plumb this a little deeper and find out."

The Payless email sealed it for me. I KNEW then that you
were totally kidding.

Lots of lovins,

And now you have a small picture of what my family
is really like.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

He Is Risen!
Have a wonderful Easter.
We receive a gift subscription to National Geographic,
and a friend of ours passes her Smithsonian magazines
onto to us. Obviously these are both rather liberal
magazines, but The Smithsonian seems slightly less liberal
than the National Geographic. I enjoy reading them both,
but do so through the filter of Scripture.

As I was sitting here on the eve of the most glorious
day in the Christian year, I read the following sentence
in the March 2007 issue of Smithsonian in the article
"Rain Forest Rebel": Catholic and evangelical missionaries
stripped the Indians of their myths and their traditions;
exposure to disease, especially respiratory infections,
killed off thousands.

Now, there is a little psychological trick in usage. The
author makes the work of missionaries and the work of
introduced diseases equal entities. Both are devastating
to the native people. One kills the body; the other kills
the soul.

There is something very subtle here. Its subtlety makes it
even more evil. It becomes another nail in the coffin the
world makes against Christians. It is so small it can
hardly be noticed, and because of that it sinks into the
general conscience without even being noticed. It becomes
the way we think.

Here are people (the missionaries) who realize that life
without an ultimate truth is gossamer. It is delicate;
it is passing; it has no substance; it creates an illusion.
They have good news to offer. There is something that can
be depended on. There is something that will last and stand
the test of time. And that something is equated in the
general view with disease.

Romans 3:13 speaks to people who write such things as this.
Their throat is an open tomb;
With their tongues they have praticed deceit;
The poison of asps is under their lips;

May God raise up many that will go to strip the
myths from the eyes of men and women who are locked
in a world of darkness.

Friday, April 06, 2007

To think or not to think, that is the question.

Not thinking takes less energy, but I have grown to
appreciate all those who do think and then provide
me with a feast to enjoy.

Chrysalis and LeftCoast both nominated me for a Thinking
Blogger Award. Thank you to both of you ladies. I do
believe I am mostly in the "isn't life just plain funny"
category. But I am tickled that my bit of goofiness pleases

The rules for this meme, as well as its buttons, are here.

I enjoy reading blogs that make me think. Here are my
five nominations for this award.

1. Suitable For Mixed Company is always chock-filled
with information and interesting tidbits. I appreciate
her hard work in keeping up with interesting news.

2. Higher Up and Further In has thought provoking posts that
I greatly appreciate.

3. Wittingshire has to be one of my favorite blogs to read.
It is deeply thought provoking and the pictures are always

4. SPOGG, which promotes good grammer (which I am afraid I need
a good dose of from time to time) is both fun and thought

5. And finally, Irish Calvinist has had me saying, "Good thinking,"
more than once.

These are not the only blogs that make me think. Many have
already been nominated for the award, and I didn't want to
duplicate names. AND I totally avoided the Mayberry blogs
because I didn't want to cause a town feud.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

I absolutely howled over the following two bits of writing in
the Mayberry Times this morning. And, I suppose it is some
sort of picture of the way my family views me that as I was
sitting at the table howling away until tears rolled down
my cheeks not one person asked me what was so funny.

Later I did track down Kent and say, "You've got to hear
this." And then we both laughed till our sides hurt, it was
just as funny to me the second time through.

1. This one is from the Correspondence Page.

The jonquils (Easter lilies) are blooming again
along H Junction and V Highway. They have had
a struggle this year with changing weather, snow
and early time change but they continue to give
pleasure to passing folks.

2. The next is from the Lost and Found section.

Unusual plant
with dirt ball
attached. Vicinity
Summit Street, Mayberry.
Must identify. Call

(I promise the only thing I
altered was the name of the
town and the phone number.)

Beat that if you can!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

GirlTalk has this way too funny video posted.
Billy, you have to watch it. Now I know exactly
how you feel every time Dad and I ask for help.

Tip of the Fedora to Challis
There are just no big or amazing or humorous or important
thoughts swirling around lately. Just Everyday Living is
going on here and mundane thinking is keeping it company.

Well, Grandma's garden is looking good; and she got her
corn planted this week. That is pretty important.

The spring has sprung so quickly this time around. Last
evening, driving home from a ballgame in the gloaming,
was a feast for the eyes. However, every new way of
describing it that came to mind was trite and overused
and seemed an offense to the beauty that was there.
"Verdant" and "green velvet carpet of the fields" and "trick
of light that turns the trees into shimmering gold
for a moment" all seemed rather tired and boring ways
of describing the actuality of the scene.

There has been the give and take of conversation these
past couple of days as my brother, Mike, and his wife Debby
have been making a pit stop in Mayberry on their way from
a visit in The Big City and heading back to their home in
Orlando. There will be more chitter and chatter as Kent's
parents come from The Big City today for a visit and a chance
to see one of the ballgames.

There is thankfulness that today Mom has her last radiation
treatment, and hopefully Thursday her fourth chemo. That
will leave only 2 more chemo treatments. And she is
ready to hop up and down, and since she got her blood
transfusion last week she can hop up and down, because
her CA-125 is well within the normal level now.

Today is another day to trust in the Creator and Sustainer
of all things. Whatever may come from His hands today, may
there be obedience and trust in the response that is given
back to Him.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

I haven't linked to any contests for quite some time,
but here is one that you might like to check out.
Five Minutes for Mom is giving away a Dyson Slim
on April 4th. To enter go to their site and
link up. A new vacuum would be mighty nice, however a
new refrigerator would be mighty nicer.